Smart Ways to Curb Pet Care Costs | Reader's Digest

Smart Ways to Curb Pet Care Costs

Pet health insurance is one of a handful of strategies for saving money should something serious happen to your pet. Here are other ways to cut costs.

By Reader's Digest Editors

dog and vet© Jupiterimages/Brand X Pictures/Thinkstock Pets are priceless but their health care? Not so much.
Would you consider health insurance for your pet? In the article “Containing the Costs of Pet Care,” The New York Times says pet insurance is one of a handful of strategies for saving money should something serious happen to your pet.

Take the experience of the Times’ profiled pet owner, Deborah Nocella. Her dog Pokie’s accidental ingestion of Advil set the family back $2,300 in veterinarian bills. While Pokie recovered, Nocella learned how handy pet insurance could have been had she set up a plan to cover her pet.

The price of routine veterinary services, like most things today, continues to rise. Pet insurance can be just as tricky to manage as human health care, but the Times reports that it’s a booming business, “growing more than 20 percent every year.” Coverage costs anywhere from $12 to $50 monthly, and premiums can be higher for older pets. Some plans also have policy restrictions for diseases known to affect certain breeds.

Still, having the funds to survive a serious incident is worth it for many owners. Don’t think pet insurance is the right fit for you? Check out these other tips gathered by The New York Times:

Start a savings account
Putting aside money for any unexpected health crisis is a good idea. The minimum amount to cover a serious condition is $2,000 to $3,000.

Purchase regular meds at a discount
Chain stores like Costco can be a cheaper place to buy pet medications, but make sure you’re buying what you need and that the dosage is correct.

Don’t buy food at the veterinarian office
Sure, they’re selling high-quality pet products, but that doesn’t mean you can’t find the same products at a large pet supply store, like Pet Smart.

Maintain regular care
Ensuring your pet receives the right vaccinations saves you money by helping to avert unnecessary but serious illnesses. The Times suggests working with your vet to determine a course of treatment that’s specific to your pet, since not all pets need every vaccine available.

Learn more about these tips and read the full story, “Containing the Costs of Pet Care.”

Source: The New York Times

  • Your Comments

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      I always thought pet insurance was a ripoff, but I’ll have to take a  2nd look at it.

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      Pets need attention from their owners. They do have needs
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